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This year’s report comes against the backdrop of rising populism, political and economic instability, along with intensifying concerns about giant tech companies and their impact on society. News organisations have taken the lead in reporting these trends, but also fnd themselves challenged by them – further depressing an industry reeling from more than a decade of digital disruption.  Platform power – and the ruthless efciency of their advertising operations – has undermined news business models contributing to a series of high-profle layoffs in traditional (Gannett) anddigital media (Mic, BuzzFeed) in the early part of 2019. Political polarisation has encouraged the growth of partisan agendas online, which together
with clickbait and various forms of misinformation is helping to further undermine trust in media – raising new questions about how to deliver balanced and fair reporting in the digital age.

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